Monday, July 14, 2014

Bloody Mary Aspic with Shrimp and Olives

This was a delicious recipe, made all the more fun by the folks at Good Cook! The sectioned dessert bar pan is the perfect thing for individual servings, and I wanted to create a fun, retro-inspired dish for this challenge. While Tomato Aspic is a classic recipe, I wanted something different. So I added.....what else? Vodka! Thus the Bloody Mary Aspic! But don't be put off by the whimsy of the title. The fresh tomatoes, celery, and shallots all combine to create a refreshing base, and the "garnish" of shrimp and olives add notes of luxury and pops of flavor. MAKE THIS DISH to share with friends and family!

Bloody Mary Aspic with Shrimp and Olives
by Gary
Adapted from Bloody Mary Aspic on Epicurious

Serves/Makes 12

1/2 cup coarsely chopped shallots (about four large shallots)
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
5 pounds plum tomatoes, cored, quartered, and pureed in a blender
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground celery seeds
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup vodka
2 Tablespoons unflavored gelatin (from three 1/4-ounce envelopes)
Vegetable oil for greasing pan
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, poached, and sliced in half lengthwise
12 jumbo stuffed olives, halved, plus more for garnish
Bibb lettuce, for garnish
Celery stalks, for garnish
Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Blend Seasoning, for garnish
Special equipment: double layer of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth, Good Cook Dessert Bar Pan

Cook shallots, garlic, and celery in olive oil in a 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes, sugar, salt, peppers, and celery seeds and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Pour tomato mixture through a sieve lined with dampened cheesecloth into a clean 3-quart saucepan, pressing hard on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids (you should have about six cups liquid.) Bring tomato broth just to a boil, then remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce.

While tomato broth comes to a boil, stir together lemon juice and vodka in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over vodka mixture (spoon vodka mixture over any powdered gelatin remaining on top.) Let stand until softened, about five minutes.

Lightly oil sections of the Good Cook Dessert Pan. Arrange shrimp halves and olives in decorative pattern in each section.

Add gelatin mixture to hot tomato broth, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Carefully ladle into each dessert pan section, pressing shrimp and olives down gently to submerge as much as possible. Chill, uncovered, until firm, at least six hours.
To unmold, run a small Good Cook Silicone Spatula around edge of each section, then dip pan into a larger baking sheet of warm water, 15 to 20 seconds. Put a Good Cook Flexible Cutting Mat over pan, then carefully invert onto board and rap lightly to release.
Serve aspics on bibb lettuce leaves and garnish with olives, celery stalks, and sprinkle with Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Seasoning, if desired.

Cook’s notes: You can substitute 2 cans (28-ounce size) plus 1 can (14 to 15-ounce size) whole tomatoes with juice for the fresh tomatoes.

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